GOOD cricket coaches come in all different shapes and sizes - and we’ve had some cracking ones at Durham.
There’s been a lot of talk about coaching methods this week after Peter Moores’ return to the England top job.
He has his work cut out as the recent form of the team in all formats has not been great, but hopefully he has learned from his first spell in charge.
From early out, he was mentioned as the top candidate for the job, but having not worked directly with him we will just have to sit back and watch his tenure evolve.
He comes highly recommended with articles describing him as the coach of the century.
Let’s wish him all the best and hope there are no more repeats of issues like the KP saga!
He seems like he’s an organised bloke who wants to try and get players to the highest level they can, and is a good communicator.
From what we hear on the circuit, England were looking for someone to get the team back together and gelling as a unit, especially after the Ashes tour.
Ashley Giles can probably feel a bit hard done by. He was asked to pick up the side when morale was on the floor, and he didn’t have a lot of time. If he’d had more, he maybe could have turned it around.
But England have gone for Moores, and he’s got a good record at Sussex and Lancashire, where he won the league.
With Lancashire, it was a real team effort, similar to when we won the championship last season. They had a lot of young, homegrown players and he gelled them together and they went from relegation favourites to lifting the title.
Sound familiar, anyone?
There’s a number of things that make a good coach.
For Durham, Geoff Cook has been instrumental in our success over the years. Now Geoff is a good coach, but he liked players to work things out for themselves a lot of the time.
Geoff’s style was that you’re a professional cricketer, you’re experienced, and you have to make your own decisions.
That worked brilliantly at Durham in a condensed season, as our championship success show, but obviously it’s different at international level where you have players on 12-month contracts and you need to manage their needs, know when they need resting and so forth.
Now at Durham, we’ve got Jon Lewis who is a fantastic coach as well.
He’s excellent at setting up practices, and is a great speaker in team meetings, also having his experience around for the younger players to tap into is invaluable.
But when you have that much backroom staff now as there is in professional cricket, a coach has to be a good manager as much as anything else.
Man-management is massive too. There’s so much focus on confidence and the mental side of things, that getting that right is very important.
Sometimes it’s just a little word here and there, letting a player know where they stand or what they have to do to get back in the team.
But more important than perhaps anything else is the need for respect.
Once a coach has your respect, and he has yours, then it makes the job a lot easier.
At Durham, we’ve had coaches like Martyn Moxon, Geoff and Jon who have all had their own styles, but what they’ve also all had is the respect of the players.
When you have that, they will buy into your plans and do whatever you ask.
HAS Paul Collingwood been pumping iron to help him hit the irons?
That was the question after his exploits at G Force14’s recent charity golf day.
Colly (left) gets some stick for not being the biggest hitter with the bat so it was great to see him smash the ball down the fairway to win the longest drive competition.
Never mind Close House, it was almost too close for comfort as we were playing in the group ahead of him when he hit it!
The lads were joking that he must have been on the weights when he was away with England.
With hitting like that, bring on the T20 Bash!!
G Force were in good form too, though, and we came third. I’m not sure how - Muchy’s not a bad player but I’m more of a social golfer.
It was a great day out, however, and was superbly organised by European Golf Challenge and Close House who we’d like to thank, along with sponsors Taste Northeast and Simply Cheesecake.
The two charities we’re supporting this year, Macmillan North East and North East Autism Society were also in attendance and it’s fantastic we can continue to support them.
And it was great to see so many of the lads turn out as well. It was the morning after our long four-day trip to Northants so for the likes of Colly, Graham Onions, Phil Mustard, Mark Stoneman and everyone else to come along was really appreciated.
Next up for G Force is a Twenty20 game at Durham School on Friday, May 9, when the Durham Jets will get their first unveiling against an old boy’s XI. Tickets are £5 for adults and £2.50 for children, and play starts at 5pm.
We’re hoping to secure a few big names for the Select XI, and there’s sure to be some familiar faces who have served the county so well over the years and brought so much enjoyment.